Tag Archives: DVD

Free DVD player software

If you have a computer with a DVD drive but no DVD software you may spend ages searching the web for some free DVD codecs without joy, they all cost money, but there is now a free DVD player that does not rely on third party codecs, that is VLC Media Player. I have been trying to set up the Sonic Cineplayer DVD codec pack on a friends computer for the last few days because I have seen that working very well, but even though the product is registered we can’t get it to work because their activation servers are not responding and their backup email solution is rejecting emails, so I downloaded VLC Media Player and gave it a spin, it’s not quite as user friendly as using Media Player with codecs and I found it a little jumpy, but that is on a 400MHZ PC with a lowly 4MB graphics card, I was impressed that it worked as well as it did, so, to clarify, if you want to be able to watch DVD’s on your computer for free and you have a DVD drive attached then VLC Media Player is your solution.

Link: VLC Media Player

Congratulations to… US

Yesterday (April 10th) was our second wedding anniversary, it had its difficult moments, but I figured that of all the reasons a man find himself depressed on his second wedding anniversary mine was relatively acceptable.

In the evening I watched our wedding DVD from start to finish, I hadn’t done that before, I usually skip my speech, some of my Persian dancing and some more of the disco, I had decided before hand that I would watch this by Ladan’s side, unfortunately with Ladan’s recent sleepiness (see updates below) she was asleep through most of it, but I had been worried this would be a very tearful experience for me on our second anniversary. On the contrary it was a very joyful experience, reminding me exactly why I have willingly allowed my life to become so disrupted to be by Ladan’s side and why I hope to continue my endeavour to build a life around her current needs until such time, if it comes, as she might manage to regain a higher level of consciousness.

When I arrived at the rehab centre earlier in the day I sang Ladan one of her favourite songs, Truly Madly Deeply (with slightly altered lyrics), I was reminded of our seven month anniversary when the doctors came in on their round to see me standing over Ladan in Intensive Care with a huge smile on my face, they must have thought for a moment that she had recovered, in reality I was happy because the doctors initial prognosis was that she might not survive that long.

I change the lyrics to songs like that quite often to be a bit more relevant, for example the line “I want to lay like this forever” does not feel very appropriate for Ladan right now, but one of my favourite changes is from “I want to stand with you on a mountain” to “I want to stand with you on Mount Carmel” because we have an invitation to go on 9 day pilgrimage on June 19th, it is highly unlikely we will be able to make it and Ladan would have to make a very good recovery very very soon for us to still be accepted on it but any cancellation will put us on the bottom of a 5 year list so I have explained our circumstances and have my spiritual fingers crossed all the time.
Funnily enough I had a dream in late March or early April last year that Ladan and I were in the General Hospital in the 29th April, I was reading something on my PDA (electronic organiser) and she was asleep when suddenly she sat up dazed and weak. On the 29th April last year I was therefore a feeling a little excited anticipation but if course nothing happened, there have been many dreams that could have been interpreted to have meanings relating to Ladan recovering and so while this is the only one that had an actual date in it I know to take these things very casually. However, although Ladan left the General Hospital on 1st September she is going back for about a week as of April 24th, so she may well be there again on 29th April! I’ll probably sit reading things from my PDA just to encourage the similarities with the dream!

Review: Blockbuster DVDs by Post

It’s some years since Mailbox Movies started DVD rentals by post in the UK, now there are loads of companies offering the same kind of service and I have set out to review a couple of them.

DVD rentals by post work on a monthly fee basis. Once you have paid your fee you can rent an unlimited number of DVDs per month within the limits of your package. You are sent a number of DVDs in the post and once you have watched them you return them, there is no maximum duration for your rental. Once you have returned the DVDs some new ones are sent out to you. DVDs are chosen by creating a wish list of films to watch, the company then choose DVDs from your list and send them to you, it is often possible to state further priorities within the list. This wish-list system is probably the greatest down-side of all DVD by post monthly subscription services, can you think of 20 films you have a burning desire to watch right now?

With Blockbuster you get a one month free trial, this is twice the length of the trials that most companies offer and each DVD is sent out under separate cover so you can send back the first DVD you watch before watching all the others. Blockbuster boast over 18,000 titles in their catalogue, this sounds impressive but in reality there are a lot of films missing, particularly more artistic or foreign titles. When it comes to maintaining a wish list over a period of time you will soon have seen everything you had a burning desire to watch and the availability of less popular films that you are willing to take a chance on becomes quite important. Compared to some offerings this service does seem to be rather limited to very popular movies and may not satisfy the hungrier movie fanatic. Another drawback of Blockbuster’s service is the turn-around time for getting a new DVD. When you send a DVD back they almost always spend the day of their receipt “processing” your next DVD before sending it out the following, so it takes three to five days to swap a current DVD for your next one. Finally, the ability to specify priority requests in your wish list seems almost counter-productive with DVDs generally beinmg sent from quite far down the list.

Blockbuster are very good with their online accounting, opening and closing accounts is seemless. They have sleeve images for all their videos and user ratings out of 5 (which you can add to) to guide in your decision making process when choosing DVDs.

In summary Blockbuster’s DVD’s by post service is run by professionals and is very easy to use. The speed of processing DVDs could be improved and their library would benefit from being extended. If you want a subscription that will ensure you get to see every popular film at a steady pace and you like the idea of a known brand being in charge then this is a good service. If you want more artistic or foreign films, or a fast turnaround, then this may not be the service for you.

Link: Blockbuster UK DVDs by Post